INEC to rely on Atiku’s witness evidence
The Independent National Electoral Commission Monday said it would not call any witness to defend its case filed against it by the People’s Democratic Party and its presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar.
“We have also painstakingly studied the petitioners’ evidence under cross-examination, which supports our defence and our denial in consonance with our pleadings,” INEC’s lawyer Yunus Usman said.
Usman said the defendant will not want to repeat what the PDP witnesses “have repeated under cross-examination.”
“In that circumstance, we will not call any witness to help them prove their case,” Usman said.
“We, therefore, rely on the evidence of their witness under cross-examination.”
Abubakar and his party are challenging the victory of President Muhammadu Buhari in the February 23, 2019 presidential election.
The petitioners rested their case with 62 witnesses on July 19 after which the five-man tribunal led by Justice Mohammed Garba adjourned further proceedings till Monday for INEC to open its defence.
Buhari’s lawyer, Wole Olanipekun (SAN), has also requested to be allowed to open his client’s case at 2:00 p.m. on Tuesday.
All Progressives Congress lawyer, Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), said his decision on whether to call witnesses would depend on the case to be presented by Buhari’s legal team.
On his part, the petitioners’ lawyer, Dr. Livy Uzoukwu (SAN), thanked INEC’s legal team for not calling witnesses.
“I profusely thank my brother and friend for deciding not to call any witness,” he said.
The proceedings were adjourned till Tuesday for Buhari and the APC to open his defence